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Jos. Lefebvre: Flemish Publisher of
Pop-up Books with Artia and Carvajal
Francois de Geest
Mr.and Mrs. Joseph Lefebvre
Three interviews with Mr. Lefebvre were conducted in
his house in Kortrijk [BelguimJ. Although now in his
eighties, he still remembers most details of his working
life as a publisher. He gave me the information for this
article, a first version of which was commented on and
corrected by him. J wish to greatly thank Mr. and Mrs.
Lefebvre for the pleasant and informative visits at their
Kortrijk apartment. '
Mr. Joseph Lefebvre (born 1920) was one of very few
distributors of pop-up books and was later the initiator of
original ones in Flanders, the Dutch language part of
Belgium. Starting at the end of the 1950s with the
distribution of Dutch editions of the books of Vojtech
Kubasta as produced by Artia in Prague. He initiated, as
a publisher, the design and production of a series of
colorful "pan oram abooks" based on Disney characters in
the early 1960s. In the same decade the well-known
Belgian artist Jose Vermeersch illustrated another series
of four fable pop-ups for Lefebvre's publishing house. In
the early 1970s more Disney pop-up books were designed
and published. But the highlight of his production -
marking at the same time the end of his activities in the
field -came in the 1970s when he was responsible for the
now sought-after pop-up editions of the comics Lucky
Luke ("produced by Artia, Prague) and Asterix (produced
by Carvajal, Cali, Colombia).
Before and shortly after 1958 - Vojtech Kubasta
Since his father had a stationer's shop and a modest
wholesale trade in stationery in Kortrijk on the river Leie,
near the French border (one of the fabulous historic towns
for which Flanders is famous), little boy Joseph Lefebvre
grew up amidst all kinds of paper, cardboard, writing
materials, etc. He especially remembers the coloring books
that were an essential part of his father's business. In the
mid- 1 930s young Jos started working in his father's business
and before World War II he had already been taken by his
father to the factories and the fairs of their trade products in
Berlin and Leipzig to thoroughly learn the ins and outs of
Once he became his own boss, after the retirement of his
father in the 1950s, he concentrated on the wholesale trade,
closing down the little stationer's shop. The coloring books
("...by the lack of text not bound to any country...") proved
to be especially big business for him in the 1950s and he
exported them as far as South America.
Mr. Lefebvre remembered where he first saw pop-up
books. It was at the 1958 World Exhibition in Brussels, the
first one after World War II where almost all countries of the
world showed the products of their new industries, raised
from the ashes of that disastrous period in history. In the
Czechoslovakian pavilion the Prague publishing house of
Artia, responsible for the publication, marketing and
distribution of the national cultural products within the new
socialistic economy of the country, showed its products: art
books, gramophone-records, musical scores, children's
books and the first five or so "panoramic books" as
designed, illustrated and paper engineered by Vojtech
Kubasta since 1956. He liked the kind of books but it didn't
occur to him to think of distributing or producing them.
What he thought of was to enlarging his assortment of
stationery, coloring books and postcards, seeing that the
Disney characters were growing in popularity in Europe in
the mid-1950s. Contacting the Paris Disney license office
proved lucky: the exclusive Disney licenses for the Benelux
countries (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxemburg) were
still available and Lefebvre acquired them. Planning to
distribute in Belgium and Luxemburg himself, he searched
for an agent in Holland. Through the Belgian Department of
Foreign Trade he succeeded and a salesman from Utrecht
was contracted. 2 Continued on page 2
The Movable Book Society
Movable Stationery is the quarterly publication of the
Movable Book Society. Letters and articles from members
on relevant subjects are welcome. The annual membership
fee for the society is $20.00. For more information
contact: Ann Montanaro, Movable Book Society, P.O. Box
1 1654, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08906 USA.
Daytime telephone: 732-445-5896
Evening telephone: 732-247-6071
The deadline for the next issue is November 15.
Lefebvre, continued from page 1
By happy coincidence the man also proved to be the
Dutch representative of Artia, Prague, offering their
products to the trade, especially the pop-up books by
From him Lefebvre learned about the difficulties of
Cold War trading with a state run company in a socialist
country: commercial agreements with those countries were
lacking, bureaucracy reigned, proofs of solvency were
requested and took time to be controlled, payment on
delivery was requested - above in hard currencies - and
massive quantities had to be ordered. But he also learned
about the earlier successes of the distribution of the first
Kubasta titles in the Netherlands.
In spite of all of the obstacles he decided to take a
chance. But first he wanted to research how to safely
manage the required large quantities. He found a partner
in the Kortrijk company of Kerkhof-Grijspeerdt, a
wholesaler supplying a large chain of small stores in
Flanders with groceries and domestic utensils. In stores
like these it used to be the custom to give stamps
according to the amount paid for the purchases. The
customer had to paste the stamps on a matching card and
the completed cards were exchanged for a token or for a
premium article (effectively a way of registering customers
and a offering good customer discount all in one).
Kerkhof-Grijspeerdt, by good fortune, decided to take the
Kubasta books for premiums for the stamp cards of their
groceries so now Lefebvre could order a huge quantity!
Ten titles in Dutch were ordered from Artia from the
usual fairy titles: Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White,
Hansel and Gretel, The Sleeping Beauty, Puss in Boots,
Cinderella, The Tinder Box and The flying Trunk.
Additionally there were the two back-to-back books The
Three Little Pigs & Goldilocks and Jack and the Beanstalk
& Hop O' My Thumb. Once all the needed formalities were
completed, the books arrived by train in Kortrijk, in sealed
carriages and opened only by customs officers after the proof
of payment was shown.
For a colophon, including the publisher's vignette, all
Tekeningen door V. Kubasta
© 1960 by ARTIA Prague
voor Jos. LEFEBVRE Uitgever
1960 is the copyright date of all copies of this delivery.
Above the series there are the (usual) Artia product
numbers: 721-730. Some titles have an additional
numbering: Little Red Riding Hood, for example, has 721/2
and Snow White has 722/3, indicating that there already had
been a first, respectively, a first and second edition in Dutch
Needless to say, these Kubasta books have the eight
spreads known from all the early editions, the linen spines
and the movable part in the front covers. The two back-to-
back titles have only four spreads for each story, therefore
movable parts in both covers.
[Hans en Grietje
De gelaarsde kat
Drie kleine biggetjes & Goudhaartje
Klein Duimpje & Jan en de bonenstaak
De vliegende koffer
As said, the complete editions of the first delivery -
"some 40 or 50 thousand copies" - went to Kerkhof-
Grijspeerdt, for premium purposes. So, none of these books
were available through the regular bookshops!
Continued on page 12
Barbara Valenta, (1937 - 2003)
Barbara Valenta, 66, an internationally-renowned
artist, teacher, and author of Pop-o-Mania: How to Create
Your Own Pop-ups died on August 1, 2003.
Born Barbara Simons in
Manhattan, she moved to
Larchmont, N.Y., as a child,
and to Weston, Conn., in the
early 1950s. Growing up in
New England, she crafted
water colors which captured
the dark, brooding beauty of
the countryside, becoming
the youngest member ever of
the American Water Color
Society. She graduated from
Sarah Lawrence College in
Bronxville, N.Y., with a
bachelor's degree in liberal arts.
Following her calling to the life of an artist, Barbara
relocated to Los Alamos, N.M., in 1960, drawn by the
beauty of the vast American southwest. There she met her
husband of 41 years, Milton Valenta, and began a series
of provocative kite-like wall hangings, which suggested
flight. She received widespread critical acclaim for her
work, and eventually turned her talents to the sculpture of
wood and steel. She moved to Vienna, Austria, in 1969,
where her powerful expression of the strength and
efficiency of the internal combustion engine won her first
prize in an international contest honoring the 100th
birthday of the automotive pioneer Ferdinand Porsche.
The Valentas moved to Montclair, N.J., in 1981 and
settled in New Brighton, N.Y. in 1984. She began her
involvement with the city program "Studio in a School,"
where she brought art classes to Latino students in East
Harlem and to students on Staten Island. Barbara also
taught paper engineering at the former Brooklyn campus
of the Pratt Institute.
While living on Staten Island, Barbara became an
enthusiastic affiliate of the Snug Harbor Cultural Center.
She hosted many craft workshops at the Staten Island
Children's Museum, which is also the site of her
child-friendly interactive sculpture, "The Wagon." Mrs.
Valenta held exhibits of her work in the center's ArtLab,
and served on the panel of the Council on the Arts and
Humanities for Staten Island.
She is survived by her husband, Milton and daughter,
7Ae J/ovod/e /?oo£ Society
Invite entries for an exhibition of
Handmade Movable Artist Books
STAND & DELIVER
Engineering Sculpture Into a Book Format
The Brookfield Craft Center
April 11 -June 6, 2004
September - October 2004
Arthur and SWata Jaffe Collection
Florida Atlantic University
January 10 - March 25, 2005
Denver Public Library
June - July 2005
for Book and Paper Arts
Call for entries can be downloaded at
www. artistbooks. com
Or by sending a self-addressed 6"x9" envelope with .60
Stand and Deliver
PO Box 624
Mt Vernon NY
Excerpted from the Staten Island Advance August 5,2003.
Pop-up Books as a Classroom Assignment
I teach in the Foundations program at Milwaukee
Institute of Art and Design (MIAD), a 4-year independent,
professional art and design college in Wisconsin. (Some
of you who attended the 4 th MBS Conference in
Milwaukee may have visited the college, which is just a
short walk from the Eisner Museum where portions of the
conference convened.) We have a class in the Foundations
program called Visual Statement. Unlike our other 3-
credit classes this is a r/ 2 -credit class that is initially
proposed by an instructor who feels that a particular
subject idea might be of interest and value to students. My
peers, and the Foundations Dean, reviewed my proposals.
One idea I proposed for the spring semester 2003 program
of study was a class centering on pop-up book design.
There was some precedent for this idea. Several years
project to my
them). I was
very impressed with the outcome of that project, so much
so that I proposed the idea as a freshman course of study
for the spring semester 2003. My only reservation this go-
a-round was that because the students were freshman that
the project might prove to be too difficult.
The class was 1 14-credits for a total of 1 5, 3-hour class
meetings instead of the usual 30 class meetings found in
a 3-credit course. 45 total hours of in-class working time
may seem like a lot but each student had to come up with
their own idea, write the story, do the illustration, and the
paper engineering and appropriate mock-ups. Keep in
mind that my expectation was that each student, by the
end of the semester, should have a rough working mock-
up not a comprehensive layout. As I mentioned earlier,
these were freshman and I wanted to keep a reachable
outcome to the project. Also keep in mind that it is
expected that each student must spend time outside of the
classroom to work on their project, as they would in any
of their other classes. Usually the same amount of time
that they spend in the classroom is spent on homework.
This will vary from student to student depending on how
Joe Melendez getting the bugs
out of his "sci-fi" idea
they process information and what kind of work habits they
The first meeting of the class was spent orienting
everyone to pop-up books by first exposing them to many
examples from my own library. I showed them everything
from Jan Pierikowski's straightforward and uncomplicated
books to Robert Sabuda's more complex pieces and
everything in between. I also showed them Sabuda's video
"Travels in Time and Space." We discussed how well the
books communicated and what made them really interesting.
We then made some simple pop-ups using paper and
scissors. Thanks to Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart, I
used their group orientation idea from the last conference in
Milwaukee. All of the students responded beautifully to this
exercise and found themselves very relaxed about the
prospect of tackling a pop-up book.
I think it's important to mention that I showed them
examples of pop-up books not only to inspire their creative
juices but also to give them ideas for their own paper
engineering approach for their concepts. I felt it was
important for them to have a more comprehensive guide at
their disposal so I chose to use David Carter and James
Diaz's book The Elements of Pop-up as a classroom
textbook. This served to be a great choice in giving the
students a jump-start on conceptualizing their ideas in the
third dimension. I also went to Simon and Schuster's web
site advertising Carter/Diaz's book and downloaded the
patterns from all of the examples in the book. These were
made available to my students to work from for their
In this class as in any other I teach at MIAD, process is
paramount to a
Process of course is
"how you proceed" on
a project or, the order
of doing things. First
they had to rough out
a story idea
"storyboard" of each
spread as they saw it
unfolding. This was
followed by very
rough illustrations of their story while at the same time
starting to experiment with their pop-up engineering. Each
student, as expected, worked at a different pace. I
recommended that they stay flexible in their thought process
as a change in one element of the project could illicit change
in another part of the project. They were able to do this very
well and as a result were able to make minor modifications
and adjustments in their work as they progressed through the
Ryann Paszko working on
her breaking up with the
"boyfriend' 1 concept
I suggested to each student in the beginning of the
project that they limit their number of spreads to only
four. None of them did. Six spreads was the minimum and
some had as many as eight and this takes into
consideration that about half of the group scaled back their
number of spreads. As an instructor this made me very
nervous in the beginning, especially when I saw some
students not managing their time very well. More than
anything else I wanted to see them succeed. There were
group and individual critiques throughout the project. It
was through this process that those who were not
managing their time very well realized that they needed to
re-think their project size. It was also through this critique
process that each student had the opportunity to "think"
through his/her idea and get an immediate response to
his/her concept. A group critique can also be very
encouraging for those individuals who may have some
doubt as to the direction of their idea.
third of the
we had an
to visit a
being installed at the Milwaukee Art Museum. The artist.
Lois Alert, a long-time friend of mine, shared the exhibit
of her work with my students. For many years Lois has
been a children's book writer, designer, illustrator,
publishing with Harcourt Brace. Although she does not do
pop-up books, her process and work ethic was important
for my students to see and understand.
The story ideas were incredibly varied. I did not
require the students to limit their ideas to a certain age
group nor did I ask them to confine their subject matter to
a certain area of interest. Some chose very personal
themes such as breaking up with a boyfriend, dealing with
alcoholism in the family, and suicide. One chose to
represent an African fable about a turtle that wanted to fly
like his friend the goose, and another played out different
kinds of dreams he's had such as falling and finding
himself naked in public. Another wrote a love story taken
from Greek mythology about Narcissus who was pun ished
for repulsing Echo's love by being made to fall in love
with his own reflection in a pool, and one inventive
student wrote a fanciful sci-fi futuristic story of life on
another planet played out in six pop-up spreads.
A spread from Narcissus and Echo
My earlier apprehension about the size of each of their
planned projects was dispelled when presentation day rolled
around at the end of the semester. They not only tackled the
amount of work that they laid out for themselves but they
took their ideas to a higher level of presentation than I
required. Most of them presented semi-comprehensive
layouts as apposed to the rough mock-up format that I
proposed at the beginning of the course.
I gave them the option early on in the class to present
their finished ideas as individual spreads. Most of the
students chose to present their finished work in mocked-up
book form. They all took a lot of pride and interest in what
they were doing. After their presentations they hung their
work in the student gallery for a short two-week exhibition
that coincided with Gallery Night, (a local event held four
times a year when galleries in the downtown and near
downtown area present new exhibitions for viewing), and
senior graduation. Both events attracted large gatherings of
people. Outside comments on the pop-up projects were very
complementary, a credit to the students' involvement.
The project, in overview, provided a new way for students
to conceptualize a visual idea. Their ideas seemed to be
strengthened from the realization of seeing a concept more
or less come to life in the third dimension. They were also
able to make connections between the various disciplines
within the visual arts offered at the college, thus carrying
some elements of what they learned from the pop-up class
and applying it
to another class.
required in the
their projects. In
this case the
student had to
sort of connect
the creative dots
as it were, from
one stage of the
project to the next instead of just thinking for the moment.
The students also developed a stronger personal voice in
their work, as they were encouraged to develop their imagery
so that they could reveal their personal and expressive
personality within a framework of discipline and
understanding, in this case, developing a book.
All in all the project was a great success and I have to say
that my association with the Movable Book Society and the
information I received in some of the breakout sessions
during the last conference gave me a great assist in
implementing some elements of the course material.
Ryan's full, mocked up spread
for the African fable
Biefigheim Exhibition Successful
The exhibition of antiquarian movable, pop-up and
novelty books from the collection of Mrs. Inge Hase,
announced by me in the November 2002 issue of Movable
Stationery as the major event of 2003, has proven to be
very successful. Mrs. Regina Ille-Kopp, the director of the
museum Hornmoldhaus in Bietigheim-Bissingen, near
Stuttgart in Germany, told me that through mid-August
there had been just over 25,000 visitors. In spite of the
uncomfortable heat wave that swept the whole of Europe
in July and August, many people came from far to see this
unique collection. Mrs. Ille-Kopp wondered how many
specialist visitors had come from abroad. Both she and
Mrs. Hase very much enjoyed the friendly - and
informative - contacts they had with several of them.
k H i
Li u c h 1 i
Booklet and poster that
From my own experience I can say that both the
collection and its presentation in this remarkable museum
were unique. My only problem was concentrating on the
exhibit since I was constantly led away by the museum
building itself, with its wonderfully painted 16 th century
walls, ceilings, doors, window openings, etc.! Every room
looked like another picture book. On the ceiling of one of
the rooms of the museum there were even some satirical
topsy-turvies painted about 1575!
Just before the start of the exhibition Mrs. Hase
succeeded in purchasing a copy of one of the first real
movable books, Leopold Chimani's Die beweglichen
Bilder mil der Beschreibung einiger schonen
Umgebungen Wiens. Mil 6 Bildern, die sich verdndem
lassen (The movable pictures with the description of some
nice surroundings of Vienna. With 6 pictures that can be
changed), published in 1835(!) by H.F. Muller from
Vienna, a book that I myself had never seen before.
Halfway through the exhibition a showcase was added to
display a small collection of movable Robinsons that Mrs.
Hase recently acquired - amongst them a German edition of
the early Robinson Crusoe. Dean 's New Scenic Books. No. 2
(1865) published in 1 869 by August Schaber from Stuttgart.
Until her acquisition it was not known that Dean's New
Scenic Books had ever had been translated into German and
this copy is the only German one of the four titles from the
series that has yet popped up.
The exhibition got a lot of attention from the press. For
example, a wonderful article on movable books, written by
Claudia Over and illustrated with over 20 color pictures of
rare items from the Hase collection was published in the
May 2003 issue (pp. 52-58) of the major German collectors'
magazine Trodler & Sammler Journal. A Swiss collectors'
magazine also had an article.
The exhibition can be seen until September 7 th when
there will be a "Finnisage" with Mr. Michael Culo on
harpsichord and a singer performing music found in rather
obscure books of songs from the Baroque period (think of the
well-known Book of Songs by Anna Magdalena Bach). All
attendees that day will be invited for a champaign after-party
to celebrate the success of the exhibition.
Pop-up a Sete
Although the design and production of pop-up books
remains primarily an Anglo-Saxon affair, continental
European collectors have been pampered this the past year
with a series of exhibitions, each one more exquisite or
informative than the other: Recklinghausen in September,
Jacques Desse's Paris sale and exhibit in December, and this
year's major exhibit of the Hase collection in Bietigheim-
Bissingen. Since the 20 th of June an exhibition of the
collection of the Catalan painter and collector Quim
Corominas of Girona, Spain has been on display in Sete, a
mundane seaside resort and center of water sports on the
The local Musee International des Arts Modestes,
MIAM, outfitted its complete ground floor as a colorful feast
of movable books and paper toys from the Corominas
holdings. Over 200 choice pieces from the collection of over
3,000 items have been displayed Rare antiquarian ones,
primarily from Spain and France, accompany modern ones
from other (Anglo-Saxon) countries, while video
performances show the movement in the books. The books
and toys have been grouped partly by theme or by their most
representative designers. The themes include circus,
children's stories (Pinocchio, Robinson Crusoe, fairytales,
etc), comics, and rare erotic productions. The designers
include: Meggendorfer, Nister, Tuck, Julian Wehr, Jack
Roberts, Andre Helle, Bruno Munari, Kubasta and Robert
Sabuda. All mirror the special interests and regard of the
also has been given
to the movable and
books and paper toys
designed by Mr.
The last section of
the exhibition shows
paper and cardboard
sculptures created by
young pupils at the
Lit J*H?r K Ffi W.rJfH
Half a dozen
printed leaflets are available at the exhibition, providing
the interested visitor with further information on the
exhibition itself, on Mr. Corominas' collection, his
painted works and teaching activities, on the history of
movable books, on Lothar Meggendorfer, on Bruno
Munari, and a finally one on the publications of Artia and
their engineering designer Vojtech Kubasta.
published by Haguenthal from Pont-a-Mousson is included
as well as the full set of booklet, slip case and costumes of
Little Henry, the paper doll book published in 1 810 by S. &
J. Fuller of London. The The Motographe Moving Picture
Book published by Dutton in New York in 1 898 is there with
an illustration by Toulouse-Lautrec on the front cover. Two
other examples are "The conductor" from Meggendorfer' s
Immer Lustig and Le Vieux Tonneau de Sucre, the French
edition of the seldom seen Dean title The Tale of an Old
Sugar Tub: With Surprise Model Pictures. The front covers
of some six movables have been cut (in shape when
appropriate) and pasted in a spread that folds out to almost
twice the size of the basic spread, that has as a centerpiece,
pictures an antique French game of goose. At one other
place there has been pasted in (in a forward-folded V in the
centerfold of a spread) a reprinted paper toy, a game of skill
as the head of a clown.
Where the illustrated front spreads have no text except for
the small printed bibliographical dates of the pictured books,
the back side of the leporello consists almost exclusively of
(French) text with some additional illustrations. In a preface
Mr. Herve Di Rosa, the President of the Association of
Modest Arts, the association that runs the museum, justifies
the choice of the exhibition's subject by incorporating the
species of movable books into the ranks of hitherto
neglected, the "modest" arts being the speciality of the Sete
museum. Finally, he thanks Mr. Corominas for "... this
important presentation of his collection, that simultaneously
reflects and nourishes his activities of painting, creating
books and teaching children."
Of interest, also, for those unable to visit the MIAM in
Sete, is the beautiful publication the organizing museum
produced for the exhibition with design and paper
engineering done by Mr. Corominas. The stylish plain
covers (25x18 cm.) are done in a brownish-red color and
hide the richly-illustrated 26-pages of contents printed in
full color on concertina-folded sheets like a leporello that
unfolded extends to a full 2.20 meters.
A bordered theatrical opening has been built into the
front cover showing the title of the exhibition and some
shadow theater performance changing scenes are made by
the pull of a tab. The front side of the bound-in leporello
shows a representative selection of the antiquarian
examples with, among others, the six pop-up books from
the 1 930s based on comic characters and paper engineered
by Harold B. Lentz, Terry and the Pirates, Buck Rogers,
Tarzan, Flash Gordon, Dick Tracy and Tim Tyler. Some
rare Disney publications are included such as the Spanish
edition of the Mickey Mouse Waddle Book and the paper
toy Cine Micky, a film -projector with film-strips published
in the 1930s in France. An early French peepshow
A second contribution, Corominas the Magician by
Antoni Puigverd, rates the paintings of the artist Corominas
and the artists' books created by him which "...illustrate his
expressive vitalism, a force of color and his dedication
towards play, surprise and enchantment." The author
continues by giving Corominas' collecting activities place in
both his life and his creative, artistic work and concludes,
"His artistic work is a natural continuation of his obsessions
as a collector." He also writes some lines on the "Katxinots,"
defining them as "undescribable dolls made of recycled
cardboard by his infant pupils." Pictures of three of them can
be found elsewhere in the book.
Quim Corominas himself contributes by recalling some
anecdotes of his life-long fascination with toys, paper and
paper-toys. He began his collection when living in London
in the mid-1970s. His special fascination is with multi-
faceted innovators of the species who cultivated different
disciplines like painting, design, books, toys, puppets,
objects, teaching, and so on, naming Lothar Meggendorfer.
Tony Sarg, Bruno Munari, Vojtech Kubasta, Theodore
Brown and Robert Sabuda.
A fourth article comes from Veronique Baton, the
museum's curator and the person responsible for the
exhibition. It is new and very interesting to read how she
relates the movable and dimensional books to certain
developments in the history of modern art, pointing to
Matisse's cut-up papers, Hans Arp's shredded papers, the
Cubists' papiers colles and Simon Hantai's phages
(foldings), through to artists' (and object) books by Bruno
Munari, Balla's visual games and Albers' exercises at the
Bauhaus - all displaying formal resolutions close to those
of the pop-ups. She concludes, "The pop-up has thus
become a supplementary field of expression and freedom
for some artists. Adventuring into this terrain, some have
suggested original paths of reading, playing with the
format (Andy Warhol), the decor (Francois Boisrond,
Keith Haring), the third dimension (Katsumi Komagata),
transparency and tactile stimulation (Bruno Munari), or
superimpositions of shapes and colors (Dieter Roth,
Patrick Raynaud)." Pictures of five of Coromin as' colorful
artists' books, using movable and dimensional elements,
accompany this article.
A final full-page picture of Wonder Woman in full
dress, done on a page flap and with a cut-out oval on the
place of the head, enables the owner of the book to paste
in a picture of his head onto the picture of the same
woman in casual dress - to personalize the book! By the
way, an English translation of the four articles has also
Mr. Corominas and the M1AM have done a great job
by producing this highly desirable and collectible book. I
just regret that they didn't make a real catalog out of it by
listing the books displayed since not too many
international lovers of movable books will have the
opportunity to travel to Sete to see this worthy exhibition.
As said, the European collectors have been spoiled by
the great exhibitions that were on display this past year.
Another one, to be organized by Jacques Desse for the
Bibliotheque Nicaise in Paris, has been announced for
early 2004. We just wonder why the country that was
birthplace of the movable books in the 19th century lags
behind? When will there be shown a survey of the British
movable and pop-up books - accompanied by an
encyclopedic and profusely illustrated catalog?
Pop-up a Sete! Les Jouets en Papier. Collection Quim
Corominas. Exhibition in and publication of the MIAM
in Sete, France. Open from June 20 - November 2, 2003.
The ISBN is 2-9515966-3-4. The price is 14 euros for the
book. (8,60 euros for mailing the book to the USA.)
Credit cards cannot be accepted as payment, only cash or
bank transfer. For more information contact
firstname.lastname@example.org. A limited number of copies
are available from Ann Montanaro. Contact her for more
information by email - email@example.com.
Plainsboro, New Jersey
Science, art and philosophy intermingle in our quest to
discern the origin of our world and our inner selves. The
ancient belief that four elements, earth, water, fire and air,
made up the world, was a way of beginning to understand
relationships in many aspects of our lives and our natural
world. This theme has served as a catalyst for a number of
my works. In 2002 I created a set of four miniature books on
this theme called the "Four Elements." These four miniature
tunnel books, Aer, Terra, Ignis and Aqva, are my
interpretation of this belief. They were originally created in
diverse media, such as papermaking and photography and
the final design was laser printed. The idea of presenting
them as tunnel books created for me another layer to delve
within the mystery of the subject matter. They are limited
edition books, measuring 2 inches high by 3 inches wide by
Vi inch thick closed. They each come in a customized case
wrapper, reflecting the individual book design. I designed,
hand cut and bound the books. If you would like to see more
images of this book and others from my works, please visit
the Book Arts web site at www.philobiblon.com
to explore its
a result I have
begun a new
Aer finished my
Canto. Three more are to come, Animus, Vitae and Materia,
all will be hand printed on an etching press and will be the
same size and structure as this one, which, hopefully, will
be finished within the next year. Canto is a tunnel book,
relief printed on Rives BFK and cased in a wrapper using
pergamenta paper. It is colophon printed on kozo in
cyanotype. Is is a limited edition book, designed, printed and
bound by me in an edition of 1 0. The sizeis 6 inches high by
8/4 wide by WA inches deep, open.
I am also beginning the work on an exhibit lam curating
on the four elements for the Hunterdon Museum in Clinton,
New Jersey scheduled for 2005. I am doing a great deal of
research on the theme of how it is viewed and applied in
diverse cultures and parts of daily lives.
My Three Favorites
Adie C. Pena
Dum-dum ... dee-dee-dum-dum ... dee-dee-dum-dum ...
"Your mission, Movable Book Society member, should
you decide to accept it, is to write about your three (3)
favorite pop-up books. As always, if you are unable to
whittle your choices down to three, the editor will
nevertheless publish your article. This tape will
self-destruct in five seconds."
Not really. If one has some self-imposed criteria.
I have only two. First, everything must be made from
paper. (It isn't called "paper engineering" for nothing,
right?) Whoops! There go a lot of my favorite books with
strings, ribbons, elastic bands, acetate, plastic (or metal)
rivets, dowels, sound chips and other add-ons (e.g.
wind-up toys, cassettes or CD-ROMs). Sigh!
Second, the book must be an inspired three-dimensional
re-invention of an existing format and/or subject matter.
(Think of pop-up books as movies. You probably wouldn't
bother watching another predictable romantic flick at the
cineplex UNLESS it was, for instance, "Moulin Rouge,"
an inspired re-invention of the timeworn boy-meets-girl
tale. Yep, it's the same old story BUT told differently.)
Some may find the second criterion too stringent BUT
that's what separates the best from the rest. A pop-up book
on an untried subject matter will certainly find a slot in
my bookshelf— or even in my top 20 list. But another
nursery tale? Or a counting book? Well, it better have a
fresh approach, an unexpected twist, a bold and brave
style to merit my attention. "Originality," a wise man once
said, "is the ability to make something old look new
(Of course, I am saying this from a collector's point of
view. A collector can compare, for instance, a 1990s
pop-up alphabet book with one from the 1930s. A
six-year-old child, on the other hand, is only exposed to a
current pop-up alphabet book. Sadly for us, the publisher's
priority is the latter and not the former. Whether we like
it or not, as far as that six-year-old is concerned, the book
she's holding in her hands is something new. So who
cares about "inspired inventiveness," right? Hence,
collectors have to sift through hundreds of "generic" pops
before truly finding a gem.)
My three (3) choices are obviously from the so-called
"Second Golden Age" simply because the pop-up book
artist of today has a bigger challenge to hurdle. After over a
century of movable books (not to mention, millions of FLAT
children's books that have covered every conceivable subject
matter over and over again), it takes a lot of creativity, a
huge dose of inspired inventiveness for a three-dimensional
book to (no pun intended) rise above the clutter.
And talk about clutter, the pop-up book artist today has
to contend with other kid-friendly interactive distractions,
video games just being one of these. Can one compete with
dazzling visuals, fast-paced editing, electronic sound effects
and pulsating music? Seriously, nope. But an interactive
all-paper pop-up book by a movable maestro can make one
smile and chuckle, gasp and shudder, sigh and swoon, or
think and ponder. Which brings me back to my first
criterion. No add-ons, no cassettes, no CD-ROMs. Just pure
paper. It's serrated edges versus soundchips. Ink on fiber
versus pixels. Cuts and folds versus CGI.
With just a few pop-up book artists steadfastly remaining
true to their craft, we discerningly scoop the cream that rises
to the top. Here are my top three (3) pop-up books.
My # 1 pick, a Gustave Verbeck
meets Henri Matisse meets Shigeo
Fukuda mini-masterpiece, should
come as no surprise to Movable
Stationery readers. I wrote about
this charming "fairy tale" that
teaches children the concept of
"infinity" four issues ago [see MS
Volume 10 Number 3]. Through 6
and a half pages, I described in
great detail why Hot Pursuit: A
Forward-and-Backward Pop-up Book (1987) by Carla Dijs
and Kees Moerbeek became my favorite pop-up book. One
more glowing word from me about this 6 1 /s" by VA" book
would be superfluous. So enough is enough.
My # 2 choice is a
shoo-in. Awarded the
Prize at the 2 nd Movable
Conference in Los
Angeles (l 998), Robert
Sabuda's The Christmas
Alphabet (1994) is a
of, well, the Christmas book and the alphabet book. Allow
me to quote from an unpublished two-year-old "essay" I
wrote. "Mr. Sabuda in a 1998 article admitted that (the
people at) Simon & Schuster were 'a bit nervous' when they
were (shown) this almost all-white pop-up book. After all,
conventional wisdom then dictated that Christmas was
supposed to be a very colorful season. Who in his right mind
would propose a holiday book featuring 26 small
I further wrote: "Aside from re-inventing (the)
Christmas (book), Mr. Sabuda showed to the entire pop-up
planet his defiance by refusing to hide behind fancy
artwork. After all, it was standard practice to 'mask' the
mechanics. The 'nakedness' of the paper engineering
caught everyone by surprise. Mr. (Graham) Brown calls it
a 'celebration,' I call it a high-wire act without a net. Mr.
Sabuda, known for his elaborate colorful illustrations,
opted (instead) for a pristine white execution. I wouldn't
be surprised if he was inspired by Masahiro Chatani's
pure-white 'Origamic Architecture,' ...a melding of
concepts -- origami meets pop-ups, East meets West." (I
could write paragraphs and paragraphs about this
ground-breaking book but I can already see Robert
blushing. So I'll stop here.)
My # 3 favorite, I'm sure, will elicit at lot of
"Yucks!"from MS readers. Which is precisely the point.
The fourth installment in a series (1990-1996) of five
food-shaped "books," David Pelham's The Sensational
Samburger (1995) is probably an odd choice. But who
says a book must conclude on the last page? Hot Pursuit
(and other flat "upside-down" books in the past) certainly
disproved that. Who says "Christmas" can't be all
snow-white? Or alphabet books should end with the
predictable "zebra" Not Robert Sabuda. Now who says a
book must be a square or a rectangle? Or that it must be
"wholesome" and "virtuous," especially if it's aimed at
kids? A three-dimensional re-invention of the shape book,
Samburger is a deliciously naughty "gross-out" (Hank
Ketcham meets Raymond Briggs) that definitely
challenges all those norms. (I can almost hear kids
rhyming "approach" with "cockroach" and screaming
"Yuck!" Now how interactive can things get?)
effect" if it doesn't move the story along, right?)
Which leads me to "spectaculars." If these were the
People's Choice Awards, why should an animated short
compete with a blockbuster like "Titanic"? Maybe we're
doing this all wrong. Perhaps we should assign categories,
e.g. adult, space, nature or whatever. (Example: The Tonys
separate the musicals from the plays; while the Grammys
have different categories, i.e. Pop, Country, Jazz, etc.) Then
we could really come up with our personal favorites in each
category. Just food for thought.
(I am tempted to list my other seven  other choices and
round it off to a perfect ten BUT I never shirk from a
challenge. So the above three  pop-up books it will be.
End of story.)
As Lalo Schifrin's "Mission: Impossible" theme plays in
the background, I would like to pass the challenge on to Roy
Dum-dum ... dee-dee-dum-dum ... dee-dee-dum-dum ...
1 ^A lMi!^ A '
|b O Q K
S O C E T Y|
Save the Date!
The Movable Book Society
San Diego, California
If one hasn't caught on yet, all three (3) books I chose
are for kids. After all, 99.9% of all published pop-up
books are geared towards children. And it's quite tough to
stand out in a crowded category. Note, too, that my picks
contain small pop-ups. Well, I was never a sucker for
Cecil B. DeMille movies. So spare me the spectacle and
"wow" me with your wit. (What's a fantastic "special
September 30 - October 2, 2004
Livingston, New Jersey
ALICE IN POP-UP WONDERLAND. Original text by
Lewis Carroll. Design and illustration: J. Otto Seibold.
Paper Eng.: James R. Diaz. Publisher: Orchard Books,
imprint of Scholastic, Inc. Pub.: Late 2003 in USA. ISBN
0-439-41 184-X. $19.95. 23 x 25.5 cm. 14 pages with 4
overlaps. 7 large double spread pop-ups, many small pop-
ups, pull tabs, and flaps. This is a witty and wonderful
addition to the Alice books. There are seven scenes from
the original story but the illustrations are new and
delightful, as are the pop-ups. The text is written in many
different fonts but there is an additional page which
children can easily read. Paper Eng. -Pop-ups are
somewhat complex and very humorous.
ROLY POLY BOOKS:
1. ROLY POLY OLD MACDONALD.
2. ROLY POLY NUMBERS.
3. ROLY POLY NURSERY RHYMES.
By Kees Moerbeek. Publisher: Child's Play International,
Ltd. Pub.: 2001 in the UK. $10.99. 8.5 x 8.5 cm. 10-1 1
pop-ups are in each box. These books were published a
while ago but I only heard about them recently. They are
available on Amazon.com. Each book is a small box
which stays linked as it unrolls, with a delightful, colorful
pop-up on each turn. The inventiveness of these books is
sure to excite any child or adult who sees them. Paper
Eng. -The whole idea and the pop-ups are ingenious.
By David Carter. Produced
by Intervisual Books, Inc.
Publisher: Piggy Toes
Press. Pub. 2003 in USA.
$14.95. 26 x 20.5 cm. 14
pages. 7 large double
spread pop-ups. In this
bright book David Carter
outdoes himself. The
outrageous, large pop-up animals, done with foil, and the
wild and witty text, all contribute to this surpassing his bug
books. Children and adults will enjoy and laugh at this
wonderful book. Paper Eng. - Complex and delightful.
READY, SET, GO! By Sue Harris. 111.: Ingela Peterson.
Paper Eng.: Andy Mansfield. Publisher: Candlewick Press.
Pub.: 2003 in USA. ISBN 0-7636-2013-0. $12.99. 24 x 24
cm. 12 pages. 6 large pop-ups. This book tells of a great
animal race with glittery pop-up vehicles. It has simple and
warm illustrations and foiled pop-ups. Paper Eng. -Pop-ups
are simple and one is somewhat complex.
WATER WORLD. By Christian Riese Lassen. Paper Eng.:
Not given. Production: Leslie Krey & Mary Bjelobrk.
Publisher: Glenn Johnstone, The Book Company Publishing
Pty Limited. Pub.: 2002 in Australia. ISBN 1-740-47180-6.
$15.95. 25 x 30 cm. 12 pages. 6 double spread pop-ups. The
illustrations in this book are lovely but too similar. More
variety in the pop-ups of the fish would have also added
interest. A young child will enjoy the sounds that are part of
the text, as it is read. Paper Eng. -More than simple but not
POP-UP STAND-OUT DINOSAURS.
By Claire Bampton. 111.: Lee Montgomery. Paper Eng.:
David Hawcock. Publisher: The Five Mile Press Pty Ltd.
First published in 2002 in Australia, but Amazon.co.uk
states that it is being published by Egmont Books in Aug.
2003. Original ISBN is 1 -86503-597-1 . New ISBN 1-40520-
801-5. Approx.: $16.60 through them. 26 x 30.5 cm. 12
pages. 6 fabulous, free-standing, pop-up dinosaurs. With a
clear and explanatory text, excellent illustrations and photos
from different films this is one of the most enjoyable
dinosaur books I have seen. Each large, realistic dinosaur
can be removed from its slot and by pulling one tab become
a three dimensional model. Each can be collapsed easily and
returned to the book. Paper Eng. -Very complex and
extremely well done.
MY LITTLE BLUE ROBOT. By Stephen T. Johnson.
Paper Eng.: Stephen T. Johnson. Publisher: Silver Whistle,
imprint of Harcourt, Inc. Pub.: 2002 in USA. $21.95. 20 x
28 cm. 12 pages. This book kit has thick cardboard pages
from which flat components easily pop out to build a robot
on wheels, which speaks and has a heart! All the pieces can
be slotted together without any glue. A working screwdriver
and key are supplied. This is a sturdy, easily put together toy
and is extremely well done. Children will love it. Definitely
a book that makes something movable, it is not a pop-up but
a pop-out! Paper Eng. -A wonderfully interactive book.
The Story Behind the Story
Professor of Comparative Criminology
University of Reading, U.K.
The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig by Eugene
Trivizas was originally published by Heinemann Young
Books in 1993. An anniversary pop-up version of this
book is being issued this fall by Egmont Books. The
following commentary by the author is reprinted from
Amazon.co.uk (July 31, 2003) with permission and
corrections from the author.
Pigs and Wolves -
Exclusion, Escalation, and Stereotyping
My book The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig
is not just an irreverent play with a traditional theme. The
story offers an alternative way of looking at certain
important issues. Indeed it was my experience as a
criminologist and criminal law specialist that prompted
me to write the story. In the traditional story the wolf
demolishes two houses made of straw and wood. Only
when the little pigs build a third house made of brick, they
are really safe. The big bad wolf is unable to blow it down
and his desperate attempt to violate their sanctuary by
entering through the
chimney ends in his horrific
death in a kettle of boiling
water. What does this story
tell us? What messages does
it transmit to the
contemporary reader? The
first message conveyed by
the original story is that if
you want be secure you
should retreat to and be
surrounded by progressively
stronger and stronger
structures. The recommended policy is exclusion,
isolation, distrust and prevention of communication. The
problem with this attitude is that exclusion often leads to
escalation. This has clear parallels not only in the arms
race debate, but also in the area of criminal justice. Each
and every method of protection leads to corresponding
ways of circumventing and neutralizing it. Weapons are
getting progressively more lethal and violence more
dangerous. Exclusion is detrimental also for the potential
victims. We have reached the point instead of imprisoning
or imposing house arrest to the criminal, we do it for the
victim. As Linda Phillips Ashour points out in the New
York Times, in her review of the TLW - this is a reminder
"on how many of us live today with fear and 37 padlocks."
\ i . |
Lefebvre, continued from page 2
Since I have also seen copies of Little Red Riding Hood
numbered 721/3 with a copyright date of 1960, The Sleeping
Beauty numbered 724/4 without any (copyright) date, and
Cinderella with a ©1963, all with the Lefebvre imprint, it
seems most likely that he ordered at least one more time
from Artia. Mr. Lefebvre does not remember it - and since
the archives of his company have been destroyed, it is
impossible to check.
It has to be said that Lefebvre didn't have the exclusive
rights to distribute the Kubasta books in Belgium. In the
same year, 1960, the Antwerp publisher Diogenes also
bought some parts of the Fairy series and in 1961-62 some
parts of the Tip+Top series. The first four parts from the
"number" series (the only parts out of the 12 that were
translated into Dutch) came in their small sizes in 1964 from
Erasme, based in Brussels and Antwerp.
Mr. Lefebvre's deal with Artia and their Kubasta pop-ups
was effectively limited to the passing of the books to the
wholesaler Kerkhof-Grijspeerdt and to cash. He himself,
meanwhile, had been busy getting lots of coloring books
printed featuring the Disney characters. But he had acquired
a taste for pop-up books since it was such an easy and
successful way to sell large numbers of books. A
combination of Disney characters and pop-ups came to his
mind. Meeting with the European Disney director Mr. Bigle
at the 1961 Frankfurt Book Fair he discussed his plans to
publish such "panoramic books" to coincide with the annual
run of Disney movies during winter holidays. Mr. Bigle
agreed, but was not keen on a production at Artia. Their
terms of payment were rather unprofitable and, more
important, there wasn't any possibility of controlling what
happened in the socialist countries when the Disney films
were sent there for printing. The permission would only be
given - Disney license contracts were very rigid - when the
complete production was done by Lefebvre in his own house.
Again Lefebvre didn't have the money to do it alone, he
needed a financially strong partner. A casual acquaintance
with a local young printer, and hobby filmmaker, like
Lefebvre. opened perspectives. Pierre Hoorens had just
started a printing office in Proostdijstraat, Kortrijk, in
association with his brother. Knowing of Lefebvre's export
activities to South America and himself looking for
expansion of his printing business, he offered cooperation.
Hooren's father-in-law. a local textile magnate, was willing
to finance the needed expansion of the printing offices and
to invest in the project. So on the 21st of April 1962 a new
company was founded for the production of Disney
panoramic books: LEHO, based in Kortrijk. 3
Continued on page 19
The illustrations of the characters in the books had to
strictly follow the Disney designs; the backgrounds were
filled in an un-Disney, rather crude and rudimentary way,
mostly showing just the wipes of colors. For the
dimensional effects the simple technique of cutting and
counter folding was used. Remarkable, however, was the
diagonal setting of several scenes on the pages. To enable
easy folding, the folding lines were perforated; the result
of this, unfortunately, is that the folds were easily torn. To
find an intact copy of these books nowadays is, therefore,
Although not credited for it, the texts of the books were
written by a local journalist, Hugo Brutin, now a widely-
respected Belgium art critic. Both the illustrations and the
paper engineering were done by "somebody from Ypres or
Poperinge" (little towns in the neighborhood) whose name
Mr. Lefebvre doesn't remember. In a later interview he
remembered the man to have been a high school drawing
master freelancing for jobs like this. The whole production
was supervised by S.C.R.E.P.T.A., the Brussels
merchandise licenses office that then controlled the
Disney rights in the Benelux (and Switzerland). Once they
had agreed to the designs and the dummies, Lefebvre
could start the production of the books. The printing was
done by Hoorens who meanwhile had also the facilities to
cut and perforate the spreads. The transformation of the
printed, cut and perforated sheets into real pop-up books
was effected by the publisher himself and some fellow
workers, amongst them the publisher's wife and children.
Like the Artia products, the sheets were concertina-folded
and glued in the covers. Finally the books were spiral
bound, like many pop-up books of the fifties and sixties
The results of this labor-intensive work were four
different titles, published in 1962 as "0«ze
panoramaboeken" (Our panorama-books) and known
since as the "yellow series" since the covers were executed
mainly in that color: Bambi, The 101 Dalmatians, Saludos
Amigos and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The books
open sideways, measure 2 1 x27 cm, are numbered 701-704
(copying the 700 numbers of the earlier Kubasta's) and
show on the back cover the new publisher's vignette:
No moving parts were built into the dimensional scenes of
the eight, unpaginated double spreads. The back covers
however have a Mickey figure that turns on an old-
fashioned TV showing the pictured front covers of the
other three parts of the series by means of a sliding strip
to be pulled by the child.
According to Mr. Lefebvre the books were published in
both Dutch and French, to serve a larger market and also to
cover the high costs of the production (design, photogravure,
color printing, cutting, folding, glueing, etc). Remember that
Belgium is bilingual: Dutch is the language of Flanders,
French the language of Wallony. There was also easy access
to the French market since Kortrijk is situated at the border
About the time Lefebvre published his Disney titles,
however, strong competition began in the field of pop-up
productions in Belgium First, the fairy pop-ups from
Hemma, based in Chevron (Wallony), came on the market,
simpler but cheaper! LEHO had to compete and did so in a
way that makes the identification of later editions of the
yellow series rather complicated. To reduce the costs of
production and to make a competitive pricing possible, the
publisher split the eight-spread books into two books of four
spreads each. The first four spreads were in the one book,
the second four in a second book. He exchanged the spiral
binding for a simple paper spine (but not always); and
dropped the sliding strip in the back cover (again not
always). Wilder still grew his editorial behavior when he
changed titles of books that had the same content: Saludos
Amigos came out also as Donald Duck en Jose Carioca
(Donald Duck and Jose Carioca) and as Donald bij de Inca's
(Donald with the Inca's); The 101 Dalmatians grew into
Pono & Perdita.... Cover designs differed with the same
contents, books with bilingual titles appear to have a single
language contents, (slightly) different cuttings of the spreads
can be spotted, and the numbering sometimes gets a
mysterious extra 'A' in '701 A' or '703 A' (for "Altered"?
But in that case it wasn't done consistently). Confusingly, all
editions have a same "© Copyright 1962 Walt Disney
Productions " and the same imprint "Uitgegeven doorN. V.
LEHO - Kortrijk met toelating van N.V. S.C.R.E.P.T.A."
(Published by N.V. LEHO - Kortrijk with the permission
of N.V. S.C.R.E.P.T.A.).
The result is a hodgepodge of (undated) editions
which all originate from the original four titles and had to
have been published between 1962 and 1964 when the
LEHO company closed down. The relationship between
the partners had deteriorated as Mr. Hoorens found other
(printing) projects to be more lucrative. In all Lefevbre
thinks some 50,000 copies of the yellow series were
I have tried to list the various editions of the four titles as
seen by examination."
Abbreviations: sb - spiral bound; ps - paper spine; si -
sliding lid in back cover; ws = without sliding lid:
sb - si
8 pop-ups. Known both in
Dutch and French Nr:
Cuttings are different
ps - si
sb - ws
4 pop-ups, different cover
ps - si
4 pop-ups, different cover,
ps - si
4 pop-ups - French
1.6 De geboorte van Bambi
4 pop-ups - French
1.7 La naissance de Bambi
ps - ws
4 pop-ups - French
1.1 The 101 Dalmatians. De nacht der kouwe neuzen
sb - si
1.2 The 101 Dalmatians. De nacht der kouwe neuzen
ps - si
2.3 Pongo & Perdita
sb - ws
2.4 101 Dalmatiens
sb - si
2.5 101 Dalmatiens
ps - ws
4 pop-ups - French
3.1 Saludos Amigos
sb - si
3.2 Saludos Amigos
ps - si
3.3 Donald Duck en Jose Carioca
sb - si
3.4 Donald Duck en Jose Carioca
ps - ws
3.5 Donald bij de Inca's
sb - ws
3.6 Donald bij de Inca's
ps - ws
3.1 Sneeuwwitje en de zeven dwergen
sb - si
3.2 Sneeuwwitje en de zeven dwergen
sb - ws
3.3 Blanche Neige et les sept Nains/Sneeuwwitje en
de zeven dwergen
ps - ws
4 pop-ups, in Dutch despite
Again without a business partner, but willing to
continue his pop-up activities, Mr. Levebre looked for
another partner. Apparently he was a good networker for
in short period of time he found a new partner: Mr. Lucien
Fenaux, a director of the local dye works of yarn and
fabric - and also a hobby filmmaker! Their intention, to
aim at the French market, was reflected in the name of the
new company: Lys, the French word for the river 'Leie' on
which the borders Kortrijk are situated.
It is rather remarkable that the first pop-up publication 5
of the new publishing house proved to be a very Flemish
one...! Undated, but appearing in about 1965, were four
small (13x17 cm.) booklets under the series name
"Panorama Boeken Lys-Stereo." Sideways opening, each
book has three double spreads with (very) simple cuts and
counter-folded scenes that illustrate some fables of La
Fontaine as shortened by Geert van Allemeersch who this
time was responsible for the texts. The titles in the series
are De Kikker en de Koe (The Frog and the Cow), De
Haas en de Schildpad (The Hare and the Tortoise), De
Raafen de Vos (The Raven and the Fox) and Mieke en de
Melkkruik (Mieke and the Milkjug). The illustrations are
by the internationally-known Belgian artist Jose
Vermeersch (1922 -1997), a friend of the new partner
Lucien Fenaux. The four booklets came also in a French
edition, to be sold in Wallony, Luxemburg, France and the
French speaking part of Switzerland.
OE KfKKCC Frj n& M1--I
c-: EA.'.F El. C£
Panorama Boeken Lys-Stereo
Though the booklets have a rather modest appearance
and very simple paper artwork, their all-Flemish origins
(author, illustrator, publisher and printer - Beyaert from
Kortrijk) make them a rarity. They will probably prove to
be the only original Flemish pop-ups ever made. The
contribution of the well-known artist Jose Vermeersch - in
later years mainly active and known as a sculptor - surely
makes the booklets now more valuable and sought after.
Lefebvre and his partner however thought of more
prestigious pop-up books to be published by Lys and
suggested another series of Disney pop-ups. Bound by the
strict license contracts of the Disney company, he
discussed his plans during the 1969 Disney convention at
the Hilton Hotel in Brussels. He finally succeeded in
getting their permission to have these pop-up books
produced by Artia in Prague. The Disney officials again
proved not too keen to cooperate with the company since
it was based in a socialist country and they especially
feared loosing control of their patented materials. Besides,
the Disney people were dissatisfied with the Artia quality:
poor quality cardboard that quickly yellowed, not always
an exact overlap of the colors of the offset printing, etc.
So, Artia was pressed by contract to guarantee a better
quality, better paper and cardboard, the use of more
accurate printing machines, a binding in glazed board
covers, etc. Several times in those years Mr. Lefebvre
visited the Artia premisses at their Ve Smeckach adress in
the Nove Meste district, near the Wenceslas square in
central Prague to discuss the claims with Mrs. Kucova
(famous for speaking six languages fluently) and to
supervise the production of the ordered books. When
asked about it, he stated that he never met Mr. Kubasta
Since it has been suggested in recent years that
Kubasta was involved in the design of the Disney spin-
offs, I thoroughly interviewed Mr. Lefebvre as a person
involved in the genesis of these books. Unfortunately he
cannot remember all the details of how the series came
into existence, but he is very sure that he himself was the
"packager" of two of the five Disney titles: De Aristo-
Katten. Een Walt Disney Produktie. Pop-up Boek van
Uitgeverij Lys (The Aristocats. A Walt Disney Production.
Pop-up book by Lys Publishers) published in 1971 but
undated, and Walt Disney stelt voor: 101 Dalmaliners.
Pop-up Boek van Uitgeverij Lys (Walt Disney presents:
101 Dalmatians. Pop-up book by Lys Publishers)
published in 1972. The texts for both books were written
by Hugo Brutin - who did the texts of the yellow series
although he was only given credit for 101 Dalmatiners.
The complete production of the books (design, illustration,
printing, binding and the finishing) was done in-house at
Artia. Who did the concrete work over there and whether
or not Mr. Kubasta was involved, he doesn't know
anymore. He remembers having received, before
production, the roughs and the blank dummies to be
sanctioned by the European Disney officials. For both
books Mr. Lefebvre also arranged co-editions for Auguiri
Mondadori from Verona in Italy (20,000 copies),
Pestalozzi Verlag from Fiirth in Germany (10,000 copies)
and a Danish publisher (5,000 copies); the French
versions of Lys (later on distributed in France by Age
d'Or) had 15,000 copies and their Dutch version another
5,000 copies each. The copies went directly from Artia to
the various foreign publishers who paid a fee to Mr.
Lefebvre for his packaging work. Remarkable, and also
proof of the reliability of Mr. Lefebvre's memory in this
question, is the fact that Lys had the exclusive rights to
sell just these two books in the Netherlands where the
other three Artia Disney's got their editions at Dutch
publishers, leaving only the rights for Belgium (and
France) to Lys. Those other three, published by Lys both
in a Dutch and a French version, were: Walt Disnev's
Bambi, published in 1970 with the (Artia-)number 703,
Walt Disney's Jungleboek, published 1970 without a
number, and Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse als films ter
(Mickey Mouse Film Director), published in 1971 again
Age d'Or. (1973-1976)
To get rid of the considerable number of copies of the
French editions of the Disney spin-offs, he joined hands
with the Societe Francaise du Livre, a wholesaler that sold
large quantities of books (overstock, remainders, etc.) to
supermarkets and retailing chains in central France.
Through a trade commissioner of the Belgian consulate in
Lyon he contacted some other wholesalers to cover the
south and north of France. But when the list of ordering
bookshops and other outlets grew quickly, the built up
distribution network proved not too transparent, and -
above all - the export from Belgium to France proved
rather complicated, he decided he had to go and live in
France himself to do there his own business. Leaving the
Lys company, as far as their Dutch edition concerns, in
Kortrijk to his partner Fenaux and his son Freddy, his
family settled in Versailles. To share the risks and to have
inside information ofthe customer's practice in France, he
searched for a partner there. Through the people ofthe
Societe Francaise du Livre he met a Mr. Rouiller, a Paris
businessman with offices in the Rue de l'Universite. With
his collaboration a new publishing house was founded in
1973: Age d'Or, based at Mr. Rouiller's address in the
center of Paris.
The company made an energetic start by bringing out in
their first year (1973) the French editions of four parts of
Kubasta's "white series": Lajoyeuse maison (Nr.471), Le
petit train (Nr. 472), Le petit avion (Nr. 473) and La
petite auto (nr.474) and of four parts ofthe Pavlin and
Seda series also originating from Artia: Les Aventures de
Pinocchio, Crin Noir, Robin des Bois and Alice au Pays
des Merveilles, all published with the joined imprint of
"Editions LYS / Age d'Or."
In that same year the company acquired a license from
the well-known comic publishing house of Dargaud in
Paris, to do a pop-up edition of their best-selling Lucky
Luke, a quality comic about a lonesome but accurately
shooting cowboy, created by "Morris" with texts by
Goscinny. This time Mr. Lefebvre and his workers did the
design, the illustrations and the paper engineering for the
book themselves (though with an eye on some techniques
known from Kubasta!). He visited Morris (the name used
by artist Mr. Maurice Debevere, he himself also born in
Kortrijk) at his studio in Brussles with the roughs and the
blank dummy and got his production approval. The book
was printed and assembled by Artia and came as "Ire
edition octobre 1973" on the market as Lucky Luke &
Western Circus, the Dutch edition with the imprint of
LYS publishers, Kortrijk, the French edition with this of
Editions Age d'Or, Paris (and a small remark that the
distribution in the French speaking part of Belgium was
done by Editions LYS). It is a desirable book with lots of
cut-outs and elaborately moving parts, and, since it is the
only pop-up of Lucky Luke, it is heavily sought-after by
comic collectors as well. The book was a success and has
been reprinted. All copies of this title came from Artia to
Antwerp and were from there distributed by Lefebvre to
Age d'Or in Paris and to the three foreign co-publishers:
Pestalozzi in Germany, Mondadori in Italy and an
unknown Danish publisher.
Lucky Luke and the Western Circus
After the commercial success of Lucky Luke, the
publisher planed to bring out a three-dimensional edition
of that other quality comic, Europe's most famous one,
Asterix, designed by A.Uderzo with text by the same R.
Goscinny. However, he no longer wanted to produce at
Artia since the previous year's deliveries were delayed so
much that some of them only arrived in December, too late
for the holiday season. In addition, Artia had started to
deliver Andersen's pop-up fairy tales as designed by
Kubasta to their French competitor Grund. A befriended
German publisher contacted Mr. Lefebvre at the Bologna
Children's Bookfair and told him of the then young
company of Carvajal from Cali in Colombia. He quickly
came to terms with Carvajal's Special Products Export
Manager, in those days the still young Mr. Guillermo
Holgin who did the job until the company closed down a
couple of years ago! Mr. and Mrs. Lefebvre were invited
to take the films, the dummies, and the "caique" for the
cuttings ofthe Asterix pop-up book to the Cali premisses.
They did so and were in Colombia for a week as the
special guests of Carvajal, guided by Mr. Holguin.
Lefebvre, an enthusiastic hobby filmmaker himself, still
treasures the moving pictures he took from the pop-up
production process over there with his 16 mm. "Paillard."
He also remembers how the people of Carvajal proudly
told him about an Antwerp master printer who came to
work at Carvajal before World War II and taught their
printers how to use the most modern off-set printing
In conclusion, we have seen that Mr. Lefebvre's pop-
up activities were concentrated in the early 1960s and ten
years later, in the first half of the 1970s. As a publisher he
was the creator of a variety of original pop-up books,
which he initiated and produced. The following is a listing
of his production:
Again the design, illustrations and paper engineering
were done in-house, closely following the original designs
of the Uderzo comics. The over-all design of this book was
simpler, the engineering effects less elaborate than those
of the Lucky Luke book and the paper lighter weight (to
lower the costs?). In September 1974 (stated first edition,
mentioned on the back) came De Reizen van Asterix. Een
pop-up boek van Uitgeverij LYS B-8640 (The travels of
Asterix. A Pop-up book by LYS Publishers). The strange
"B 8640" appears to be the postal code of the Belgian
village Moorsele-Gullegem where LYS had their
warehouse and was printed by mistake! The French
edition was published with the Age d'Or imprint, an
Italian edition came from Mondadori, Verona, and a
German one from Pestalozzi, meanwhile moved to
the many variants of the "yellow series" with the
the four pop-up fable booklets designed by Jose
Vermeersch with the LYS-imprint;
the Artia Disney spin-offs De Aristo-Katten and 101
Dalmatiners published by LYS and Age d'Or;
the original Lucky Luke, also by LYS and Age d'Or;
finally the nice Asterix, again by LYS and Age d'Or.
For Flanders the pop-up activities of Mr. Lefebvre
proved to be unique: neither before him nor after him has
anyone else created original pop-up books. Just in Wallony
there started in his time a company publishing simple but
popular dimensional books (in imitation of the successes
of Lefebvre?): HEMMA from Chevron, the biggest
competitor of Levebvres business, and still active at this
ihc mm \\\
iM - I K
Sr"i ; "- - - v
De Reizen van Asterix
The cooperation with Carvajal was confined to one
pop-up book; Lefebvre didn't publish anymore pop-ups.
He had seen his son Freddy continue the business but in
the mid-1970s Freddy and his family left for Germany
where he started a career as a cameraman and movie
maker with the German Television. Since the loss of
Freddy endangered the continuity of the company, the
business partner Lucien Fenaux backed out. As a
consequence Mr. Lefebvre closed down Lys in February
1977. After Asterix he confined himself to what has been
his core business for many years: the lucrative trade in
calendars and postcards, with and without Disney
characters. He finally retired in 1985.
(Edited and translated from the Dutch by Theo Gielen).
' The interviews took place on May 20 and June 3, 2002. In a
letter of October II, 2002 Mr. Lefebvre commented my first
version, and finally I had a third interview, together with Theo
Gielen, on May 9, 2003. Mr. Gielen wrote the definitive version
of this contribution and translated the text in English, for which
1 would like to thank him.
2 Unfortunately Mr. Lefebvre doesn't remember the name of the
man so trying to trace the way the Kubasta's were distributed in
Western Europe has failed for the time being.
3 Although a copy of Hansel and Gretel has not yet been seen,
the title was part of the series, the book number has been
4 The name is a contraction of the first two letters of both names.
Lefebvre and Hoorens.
- Any addition or information about variant editions in the
collections of the readers will be very welcome.
6 Since this article just describes the pop-ups by Lys, the further
Lys publications have been omitted. Lys published a lot of
Disney reference books as well, on animals, spacecraft, etc.
7 See for the French Lys editions, for example, the Jacques
Desse exhibition catalog 2002, nrs 279-287.
Questions and Answers
(isfic Surorise Patioranvs
Q. Researching the
movable and pop-up books
published by the Raphael
Tuck Company, I am
confronted with the
enigma of their series of
"Tuck's Annual with
Panoramas" published in
the 1920s or 1930s. Until
now I have seen two
volumes. The one with the
two children in old-
fashioned clothes sitting in
a carriage (see picture) has two pop-up pictures, double
spreads that rise to form a layered tableaux as the pages
are opened. They are entitled "The Tower Bridge" and
"Glorious Days of Sport."
The first item of the book
is "The Spirit of Progress."
The other one has on its
front cover two children in
under an umbrella, the boy
playing a guitar. Similarly
it has three pop-ups,
entitled "The Joy of
Guard Whitehall" and "All
the Fun of the Fair." Here
the first item is "The
There is also known a similar volume: Father Tuck's
Annual for Little People with "Come to Life" Pictures
(see picture of front cover) showing two pop-ups of an
identical technique as in
the "Tuck's Annuals"
above; now entitled "Fine
Fun on the Sands" and
"The Animals went in
Two by Two." Here the
first item is "Something
Does anyone have
other volumes of "Tuck's
Annuals" in his/her
collection? And who has
other volumes of Father
wiih'eoai re unTptanits
Tuck 's Annual for Little People? Does anyone know more
about how to date these annuals? Please help me with your
information, I will be grateful for any assistance.
A. I have a Father Tuck's
Annual For Little People with
"Come to Live" Pictures in
my collection. It has two pop-
ups entitled "At School in
Catland" and "Life at the
Farm." All the pages are
heavy, stiff paper. It is
inscribed but not dated.
East Brunswick, NJ
FOR LiTTLE PliOPl
COM TO Hit
Q. The following book is
listed on amazon.uk.com. I
ordered it when it was first listed but Amazon cancelled
my order early this year. Does anyone know if this book
was ever published? Harry Potter: the Flying Car: Pop-up
Book. By J.K. Rowling. November, 2002. BBC Consumer
Publishing. £12.99. 0-563-53262-9.
Children's Book Magic.
David Diaz & Robert Sabuda
November 15, 2003 - February 1, 2004
Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum
Robert Sabuda will be the honored guest
at the opening reception on
Friday, November 14, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Movable Book Society members
are invited to attend the reception.
For more information about this exhibit
The story behind the story, continued from page 12
Moreover by excluding, stigmatizing and isolating we may
reinforce or even create whatever danger we are afraid of.
Isolation and segregation make illegal activities even more
attractive for the offender. In my version of the story an
alternative message is conveyed. The three little wolves erect
first a solid brick house. The big bad pig comes along and
when huffing and puffing fails to work, he uses a
sledgehammer to bring the house down. Next the wolves
build a home of concrete: the pig demolishes it with his
pneumatic drill. The three little wolves choose an even
stronger design next time round: they erect a house, made of
steel, barbed wire armor plates and video entry system, but
the pig blows it up with dynamite. It is only when the wolves
construct a rather fragile house made of flowers, that the pig
pauses to smell the lovely scent, has a change of heart,
realizes how horrible he has been, undergoes a radical
transformation, and he becomes a big good pig. The wolves
invite the pig inside the house and the story ends with a
party with strawberries and wolfberies (the summary is
composed of review extracts). Instead of confrontation,
exclusion and destruction - this version of the story
advocates communication, reintegration, inclusion and
restoration of trust. The message is not only that beauty
facilitates change, and sometimes tenderness may work
better than toughness, but that by being open we may be able
to win over our adversary. There is no denying that this way
of responding to adversaries in certain circumstances is
appropriate, in others inappropriate and certainly it has its
risks and dangers, but so does the attitude recommended in
the original story. The second message conveyed by the
original tale is that there are clearly differentiated good and
evil characters. In my reworking of the story, instead of the
three little pigs and a big bad wolf, we have three cuddly
little wolves and a nasty big bad pig. That is not only a
deliberate reversal of the bad press given to wolves but a
reversal of good and evil characters in general. Wolves are
not necessarily the embodiment of evil, nor always
something to be loathed. Indeed it may be easier to make
friends with a wolf than a pig. An educator Joyce
Wakenshaw wrote to me from Switzerland, raising among
others, the point that this role reversal is confusing. For
generations the wolf has been used in children's stories to
depict evil, something to be feared and what is wrong with
that? If the child listens to the story in a safe environment he
- she can come to terms with fear. Why not let the wolf
represent all that is bad? Because I wanted to move away
from good and evil characters to a distinction between good
and evil acts. My story is indeed an attempt to overcome the
stereotyping of good and bad. "It is important," as B.
Thomson points out to teach "children to consider acts
rather than stereotypes." There are good and bad deeds not
good and bad persons. Not all pigs are bad and not all
wolves are good. There is good and bad in everyone.
Stereotyping character rather than acts is sometimes
dangerous because it excuses corruption, promotes persecution
of minorities and carries the risk of the so called "self-fulfilling
prophesy." One of the difficulties of the present way of looking
a things is that it establishes a false dichotomy not between
good and evil but people who defined as good or bad. Children,
B. Thomson remarks, have often far more to fear in their
domestic setting than from outsiders. "Many children have had
to suffer abuse 'in silence' because they were unable to
convince anyone that their good parents or other persons in
positions of trust were abusing them - precisely because
everyone believed in the good character stereotype." If we treat
people as representatives of stereotypes rather than as
individuals, a religious commentator remarked "we are
responding less to what the other person did and more to the
image of the other person that is called upon by the name we
have give him. This dichotomy further deepens the gulf
between offender and society and makes it even more difficult
to achieve the aim of bringing him back to the community." A
child told me the other day "Everybody knows why wolves are
bad. Because they is eating pigs." "So do humans," I answered.
Are we also all bad?
The following titles have been identified from pre-
publication publicity, publisher's catalogs, or advertising. All
titles include pop-ups unless otherwise identified.
Alice In Pop-up Wonderland. By J. Otto Seibold. Orchard
Books. 0-439-41 184-X. $19.95.
Alice's Adventures in
Wonderland. Robert Sabuda
(Illustrator and paper
engineer). October, 2003.
Little Simon. $24.95.
The Ancient Egypt Pop-up
Book. October, 2003.
Blue's Treasury of Stories.
October, 2003. Little Simon.
Book of Roman Pop Up
October, 2003 . 1 2 pages. U.K.
Brum's Super Powered Pop-up Book. By Alan Dapre.
October. 14 pages. UK. Hodder Children's Books. £9.99.
The Christmas Crib - a Nativity
Pop-up and Story. By Brian
Wildsmith. September. 4 pages.
Oxford University Press. £ 1 2.99.
The Country Music Pop-up
Book. By the Staff of the
Country Music Hall of Fame
and Museum. October, 2003.
Universe Publishing. $45.00. 0-7893-0980-7.
The Greatest Story Ever Told: A Pop-up Activity Book, by
Linda Parry, Alan Parry. Loyola Press. 0-829-41 70 1-X.
Also: John Hunt Publishing (UK). £9.99. 1-842-98108-0.
Ice Mountain. November,
2003. 14 pages. Little Simon.
In a Spin: A Busy Bugz
Pop-up Book. By Christine
Tagg. Silver Dolphin Books.
Jade Moves House: A
Touch-and-feel Pop-up Book. 18 pages. U.K. Tango Books.
Look for a Leprechaun (Bright & Colorful Pop-Up Books!).
Book Company Publishing. 1-740-47313-2.
Magical Beasts: A Pop-up Adventure. By Nick Denchfield.
October. 12 pages. UK Macmillan Children's Books.
The Magical Pop-up World of Winnie-the-Pooh. October,
2003. $24.99. 0-5254-7141-3.
Monkey Business: A Jungle
Pop-up. By Paul Stickland.
October 2003. Ragged Bears
USA. $17.95. 1-929927-49-5.
New York on the Fly: An
A bsolutely Buggy Pop-up Book.
By Tanya Roitman and Donna
Williams. Pop Up Creations
Travel Series. 9" x 12". $17.95.
Oh, the Places You'll Pop-up! By Dr. Seuss. Random House
Children's Books. $6.99. 0-375-82310-7.
Pop-up Kama Sutra. "With 6
pop-up variations." October,
2003. Stewart, Tabori &
Raggedy Ann and Andy and
the Camel with the Wrinkled
Knees. A Classic Collectible
Pop-up. By Johnny Gruelle.
Kees Moerbeek, paper engineer.
October, 2003. 14 pages. Little
Richard Scarry's Book of Big
andLittle. October, 2003. Simon
& Schuster . $7.99.
Snappy Little Hugs. December,
2003. Silver Dolphin Books.
Snappy Little Monsters. September, 2003. Silver Dolphin
Books. $12.95. 1-57145-986-3.
Snappy Little Snowtime. October, 2003. Silver Dolphin Books.
Super Sue. Candlewick Press 14
pages. $7.99. 0-763-62063-7.
The Three Little Wolves and the
Big Bad Pig Pop-up. By Eugene
Trivizas, Helen Oxenbury
(Illustrator). September, 2003. 8
pages. Egmont Books. £14.99.
The Very Lazy Ladybird: A
Pop-up Story. U.K. Little Tiger
Where's Boo? At the Farm.
Lift-the-flap and Pop-up Books.
September, 2003.12 pages.
Egmont Books. £4.99.
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